Plecotus auritus

Brown long-eared bat
Brown long-eared bat
Brown long-eared bat
Brown long-eared bat

In Europe and in the Mediterranean area it is rare or absent. Found to the east to the Urals and Caucasus.1 In Bulgaria it is a characteristic inhabitant of the mountains.

Medium-sized bat with long ears. The fur is long and fluffy. The dorsal fur is brown, often with a reddish tinge, the ventral fur is yellowish-grey. The eyes are large and the face is light brown. The ears and tragus are slightly pigmented. The toes have strong, bristle-like hairs.

The calls are in two harmonics. The lower drops from 48 – 55 kHz to 27 – 17 khz, whereas the upper one – from over 80 kHz to 35 – 40 kHz. This species emits the calls through their mouth or nose.

In forests, into the mountains from 200 m to over 2000 m. Hunting grounds are in mixed coniferous woodlands, spruce forests, to beech and oak stocks, over open land, orchards, parks and gardens.

Summer roosts are in trees and buildings and winter roosts are in caves, rock crevices and tree holes. In Western Europe they roost almost exclusively in buildings.

Nursery colonies comprise of 5 – 50 females. The males live solitarily in the summer. The swarming starts early in August through October and there is a second swarming period from February to April. In the winter they hang separately, sometimes in small groups. Sexual maturity is reached in the first autumn or in the second year. Females give birth to one or two young in June or July.

Hunts with a slow flight close to vegetation or makes aerial hawking of flying insects. The food consists of moths, Diptera, spiders, harvestmen and caterpillars.

Threats are intensive forestry, removal of mature timber and renovation of buildings.

Christian Dietz and Andreas Kiefer (2014), “Bats of Britain and Europe”;

Vasil Popov, Atila Sedefchev (2003), “Mammals in Bulgaria”;

Vasil Popov, Nikolay Spasov, Teodora Ivanova, Borqna Mihaylova and Kiril Georgiev (2007), “Mammals important for conservation in Bulgaria”.

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